David Price strikes out career-high 12 as Rays shut out Indians

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David Price struck out 12 over seven innings and combined with two relievers on a four-hit shutout in the Rays’ 5-0 defeat of the Indians on Friday.

Price outdueled Josh Tomlin, who was far and away the hotter pitcher entering the game.  Tomlin, who hadn’t allowed more than three runs in any of his nine starts while going 6-1 with a 2.41 ERA, gave up four runs over six innings in this one.  The home runs finally did him in; it was the fourth time this year that he gave up two bombs, but this time, both came with men on base.

Casey Kotchman and Sam Fuld were the unlikely home run hitters.  They had combined for three in 283 at-bats this season entering the day.

Price allowed four hits and walked two in the 110-pitch outing.  He struck out 10 or more batters for the fifth time in his career.  His previous high for strikeouts was 11, established against the Twins on May 30, 2009 and matched against the Diamondbacks on June 26, 2010.

Price improved to 6-4 with a 3.54 ERA.  Those aren’t the kind of numbers he posted last year, when he was in the mix for AL Cy Young honors.  However, he currently has a 1.06 WHIP and a 68/13 K/BB ratio in 76 1/3 innings, suggesting that his ERA should keep declining.  Last year, he had a 1.19 WHIP to go along with his 2.72 ERA.

Report: Diamondbacks acquire Steven Souza from Rays; Yankees land Brandon Drury

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Update (6:35 PM ET): This is a three-team deal also involving the Diamondbacks, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The Diamondbacks will receive outfielder Steven Souza from the Rays and second baseman Brandon Drury will head to the Yankees. Lefty reliever Anthony Banda will go to the Rays, Piecoro adds. The Diamondbacks will also receive prospect Taylor Widener from the Yankees, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post. MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert adds that the Rays will get two players to be named later from the D-Backs.

Souza, 28, is earning $3.55 million in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility, so the Rays are presumably saving money in moving him. Last season, Souza hit a productive .239/.351/.459 with 30 home runs, 78 RBI, 78 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 617 plate appearances. Souza’s arrival almost certainly pushes Yasmany Tomas out of a starting gig.

Drury, 25, has played a handful of positions in his brief major league career. Last year, he played second base in Arizona, batting .267/.317/.447 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI in 480 PA.

Banda, 24, made his major league debut last season, posting an ugly 5.96 ERA with a 25/10 K/BB ratio in 25 2/3 innings. The peripherals suggest he pitched better than his ERA indicated.

Widener, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the 12th round of the 2016 draft. This past season with High-A Tampa, he pitched 119 1/3 innings and posted a 3.39 ERA with a 129/50 K/BB ratio. MLB Pipeline rated Widener as the 14th-best prospect in the Yankees’ system.

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Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the Rays will acquire second base prospect Nick Solak from the Yankees. The Yankees’ return is presently not known.

Solak, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the 2016 draft. He spent last season between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, hitting a combined .297/.384/.452 with 12 home runs, 53 RBI, 72 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases.

MLB Pipeline ranked Solak as the eighth-best prospect in the Yankees’ system and the fifth-best second base prospect in baseball, praising him for his ability to hit line drives as well as his speed.